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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the CTR Law?
The aim of Washington’s 1991 Commute Trip Reduction Law (CTR) (RCW 70.94.521-551) is to improve our lives by reducing traffic congestion, air pollution, and fuel consumption. To achieve these goals, the state asks employers to develop CTR programs that encourage their employees to reduce their vehicle trips by using more sustainable commute options, such as buses, vanpools, carpools, biking or walking. Offering options to telework or a flexible work schedule, such as a compressed workweek, are other ways employers help reduce single-occupant vehicle trips.
Who is affected by the CTR Law?
The law affects both public and private employers in Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima counties. In those counties, employers are required to maintain a CTR program if they have 100 or more full-time workers who commute between 6 and 9 a.m. to a single worksite at least two weekdays for at least 12 continuous months. Recently adopted legislation requires all state agency worksites in Thurston County to participate in the program, regardless of how many employees at a single worksite.
State agencies are encouraged to implement CTR programs at all of worksites statewide, not just those required by the law.
Affected or Non-affected? Who must comply with the law?
An "affected" CTR agency has at least one worksite in at least one of the nine CTR-affected counties that has 100 or more full-time employees reporting to work between 6 and 9 a.m. Each affected worksite must meet the minimum requirements of the CTR Law including providing annual reports to their local jurisdictions and surveying their employees every two years to determine progress towards meeting the CTR goals. There are 80 state agencies including 25 colleges and universities at 192 worksites and over 55,400 employees participating in CTR programs statewide.
A "non-affected" agency has fewer than 100 employees in a worksite and may be located in any county. These agencies may participate voluntarily and, by submitting a CTR program to GA, may receive the same support from the State Agency CTR Program as an affected agency.
Non-affected participating worksites do not have to provide annual reports to local jurisdictions or survey their employees. Currently 15 non-affected agencies have implemented CTR programs at their worksites. In addition, many affected agencies offer their CTR program to their employees located in non-affected worksites. There are presently over 160 worksites in 14 counties from both affected and non-affected agencies that participate in CTR programs.
What other laws support state agency CTR programs?
- RCW 43.01.220-240 provides additional support to state agency CTR programs.
- RCW 43.01.230 gives agencies the authority to use public funds (including existing internal agency funds) to support their CTR programs. See Use of Public Funds Guidelines for information on how the funds may be utilized in your CTR program.
- RCW 43.01.240 (1) - (3) gives agencies the authority to charge and use parking fees and directs that agencies reduce the state’s subsidization of employee parking by reducing their employee parking supply. The law also requires that where there are fewer parking spaces than employees, the spaces must be equitably distributed with no preference given to managers. If this situation exists at any of an agency’s worksites, the agency should have a parking program policy that provides equity in the way the parking is assigned. See Parking Program Guidelines, Employee Parking Exemption Guidelines and Local Government Parking Policy and Commute Trip Reduction from the Washington State Department of Transportation.